Word from the LCNI is that the brain scanner is down until mid December because of a shortage of helium for the 3 Tesla super-cooled super-conducting electro-magnet. Donate your party balloons, children! 11/16/2012.
This is not a joke at all.
A serious blunder was made in 1996 – The Helium Privatization Act – at that time some of us said this would be a “serious blunder”. Now we are in it.
is one of many national stories on this problem
It’s definitely not a joke. My research depends on this scanner. I don’t want to have to switch to the Skyra in midstream. Why can we buy helium for party balloons but not for this?
Another nice article:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7400/full/485573a.htmlNo, this doesn’t help you, UOM. Fun fact: 17% of helium is used for welding. Who knew?
I knew – for instance AirGas does have Helium available butonly for industrial uses now (e.g. welding). Hospitals havetheir own private stock since Helium is used in certain breathing assist apparati. The National Weather Service stocked up onHelium long ago so they can keep flying balloons.
The original way that Helium was captured was through Oil and Gas exploration since it was deemed to have national value.Nowadays its not bothered being captured any more.
Finally, without helium there is no low-noise infrared astronomical. Indeed, the whole reason that BOOMERANG discovered the accelerating Universe before anyone else, was because of Helium.
So, all in all, this is quite a problem.
The LHC requires helium and is, in fact, the largest cryogenically cooled thing in the world. Fortunately theEU is not quite as stoopid as the USA.
and yes, I know, more than anyone wanted to ever know onthis topic …detector
Pushing this unexpected welding meme a little farther, the NYT has a column on it today: welding is now a STEM career. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/opinion/sunday/Friedman-You-Got-the-Skills.html
I thought the blunder was when they bought the more expensive less functional fMRI because that is what all the kool kidz have….
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